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Thread: Greenwater Algae: Useless Trivia vs Useful Knowledge

  1. #1
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Greenwater Algae: Useless Trivia vs Useful Knowledge

    An article concerning aquaculture in the latest National Geographic magazine mentioned cultivation of algae. Curious about that, I searched around and found quite a lot of information on raising various kelps and seaweeds for food. Interesting stuff. Then I came across materials about farming greenwater algae for the purpose of harvesting certain nutrients to create food additives. I had not previously been aware of greenwater algae being commercially produced. It does not seem to have gotten established as a profitable endeavor, but a surprising number of scientific studies are underway. It may not be very long before we begin to have the sort of in-depth studies that will allow us to begin to gain real understanding of the complex interactions in our ponds.

    I came across some factoids that cause me to see things a bit differently. In a typical propagation system, as the algae multiply becoming denser, they block the sunlight. At first, this is actually beneficial. Direct sunlight is too strong. The shading effect as a population becomes more dense allows for maximal growth and reproduction. The optimal light intensity for some algae is only about 10% of full direct sunlight (in summer). But, as the algae become increasingly dense, light intensity becomes too weak just inches down from the surface of the water. To maximize production, the water has to be agitated so that more algae get exposed to the sunlight and fewer get over-exposed at the surface. Common methods are paddlewheels and aeration. So, to maximize the density of the greenwater algae, circulating water exposed to direct sunlight gives the best results. In other words, if it wasn't for the competitive exclusion effect of our bacteria-based filter systems, koi ponds are designed to encourage greenwater, unintentionally of course.

    It's just trivia ...for now.

  2. #2
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Mike, this is good news to me. When you discussed algae scubbers on another thread, I thought my waterfall weir was acting like one. The string algae used to accumulate at the second of the two-stage biofilter chamber, but has since moved, or preferred to grow at the waterfalls. I believe that the main reason for the change in its behavior was that I had diverted almost all of my return from the filter to the waterfalls instead of the tpr. This surge of water flow produces a lot more agitation than before, when water was falling off in trickles. It probably helped that it was tropical summer, and that I had installed a sunshade. This trifecta created conditions for the lush growth of string algae. But I wouldn't have connected the dots without your fanatical and deep obsession with algae. Thanks for sharing with us. I certainly hope the algae keeps on with its growth continually throughout the year. I am brushing it off and removing it from the pond instead of feeding to fish in the hope that I am removing nitrates as well as phosphates from the pond. A thriving string algae population would in this case be viewed as a boon, since it is conveniently located in one accessible location where it can easily be removed. Am toying with the idea of having a night light by the falls to keep the string algae working even at night, but am hesitant because it might interfere with the koi's rest cycle.

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    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Isn't the majority of the "nori" used to make sushi rolls in the U.S. made from red algae?

    See: Porphyra

  4. #4
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricshaw View Post


    Isn't the majority of the "nori" used to make sushi rolls in the U.S. made from red algae?

    See: Porphyra
    I had always thought it was made from seaweed.

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    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    I had always thought it was made from seaweed.
    From Wikipedia:

    "Seaweed is a macroscopic, multicellular, benthic marine algae. The term includes some members of the red, brown and green algae."

  6. #6
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Yerrag: When you are tossing out that algae, think about this promotional pitch for Evodos brand algae harvesting equipment. .....


    High Quality Output Algae Paste
    We are proud to let you know that with the Evodos Dynamic Settlers our customers achieve excellent results in harvesting algae. Today we have over 70 customers worldwide in the algae market. With Evodos, even the smallest algae (Nannochloropsis), fragile algae (Dunaliella and Diatoms) and both fresh and marine water algae are harvested successfully.

    Increase The Value Of Your Algae
    The Evodos Dynamic Settlers, with the unique Spiral Plate Technology, outperform tradition separation/harvesting equipment. The separation efficiency is over 95%, and the dry weight of the output Algae paste is 1.5 - 2 times better compared to traditional centrifuges. Even more important, the Algae paste is of excellent quality, all Algae cells are harvested intact and undamaged. During the harvesting process, the Algae don't change in structure and temperature. Evodos is the only Algae harvesting solution where all valuable components (ingredients) inside the Algae cells are fully retained. This significantly increases the value of the output Algae biomass. In the last year Evodos built strong client references and data in the harvesting of:

    •Nannochloropsis: high dry solic percentage of 25-30%, excellent quality of the Algae paste, all EPA is retained.
    •Dunaliella Bardawil: dry solid content of 29%, high cell integrity after harvesting, glycerol and Betacarothene (5,6%!) retained.
    •Diatoms: all diatom cells are harvested intact and undamaged. All valuable components in the cells are retained.
    •Tetraselmis: harvested with an energy balance of 1.8%!

    Why Evodos
    •You harvest a top quality Algae paste;
    •Even the smallest and most fragile Algae are harvested successfully;
    •All Algae cells are harvested intact and undamaged;
    •All valuable components inside the cells are retained;
    •You realize a significant increase of output biomass value;
    •You minimize the energy consumption in the downstream process.


    ................ And, got to love this testimonial:

    "The algal cake produced is very well dewatered especially that one collected from the drum shell. That is really nice and saves us a lot of time."
    Kalle Valkonen, University of Helsinki

  7. #7
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    I hope that brought a smile.

  8. #8
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricshaw View Post
    From Wikipedia:

    "Seaweed is a macroscopic, multicellular, benthic marine algae. The term includes some members of the red, brown and green algae."
    Interesting. So whenever we have seaweed, such as wakame, we're actually eating algae. Wakame can also lower blood pressure.

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